“I enjoy the magazine very much. Will you keep printing it? I don’t have a computer,” wrote a reader in British Columbia this June. She was responding to our spring fundraising appeal. A reader in Ontario also said, “We do not have a computer, so we enjoy the printed CM.”
Thank you for letting us know!
I was baptized on an Easter Sunday morning, in the midst of a beautiful service celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. By the first rays of morning light, we greeted each other with the familiar refrain, “He is risen!” and “He is risen indeed!” We sang the big, old Easter hymns.
I’m more and more dismayed by the regionalizing trajectory we seem to be on. From national and international politics to neighbourhoods and churches, it feels like we are contracting our boundaries rather than expanding.
Like many women I know, my mother carries a deeply ingrained impulse to feed others. Once I watched her tend Penguin, her black and white tuxedo cat, clucking and fussing as she prepared and set food before him. To my eyes, the hefty Penguin was doing just fine, and the fuss seemed to be unnecessary. Who knows though?
I recently told someone that our family holiday plans this summer included tenting for 10 days in northern Ontario. They replied, “Why on earth would you do that? That sounds awful.” Unfortunately that’s the same reaction I get when I tell certain people I go to church.
Update: In October 2020, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada announced the termination of the ministerial credentials of John D. Rempel, on the basis of ministerial sexual misconduct.
George Bryant (standing) was a long way from the home of his birth when he posed with the Katie and Christian Bender family in about 1917. George was a British home child who arrived from Liverpool in 1907 and was sent to Stratford, Ont., for “distribution” to a local family. He believed his mother had died, but as an adult he discovered she was alive.
Westerne Joseph has been in Canada for ten years. The political situation in Haiti meant that he, his wife and their children had to flee, landing in Canada as refugees. In 2010 they received refugee status, making their home in Montreal, where their children have finished high school and attend university.
Ibrahim Nseir, pastor of the National Presbyterian Church of Aleppo in Syria, stands at the site where his church building once stood. In 2015 a new building was erected and the church continues to distribute MCC aid, including comforters and kits. (MCC photo by Emily Loewen)
In the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Rev. Ibrahim Nseir stands on the pile of rubble that used to be his church. The building where his congregation once worshipped is now a pile of broken stones and dust.
The 20-or-so Mennonites who attended the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies (NAIITS) symposium were humbled by the grace of their hosts who welcomed them, without hesitation, into the conversation.
Board members of the Edmonton Ten Thousand Villages store met on June 27 to decide whether to contribute $100,000 toward a TTV sustainability plan. The board includes (from left) Adrienne Wiebe, Alexandra Ketchum, Robert Proudfoot, Helen Mc Cabe, Kurt Sawatzky, Ghenette Houston, Phyllis Schneider. Not pictured: Kari Morton and Irma Stickland. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)
On June 27, 2018, supporters of the Edmonton Ten Thousand Villages (TTV) store voted overwhelmingly to grant its board the authority to gift $100,000 to the TTV program of Mennonite Central Committee (Canada), in a one-time attempt at a sustainability plan.
Around 70 people gather to listen to a panel of speakers at the Circle of Life Thunderbird House in Winnipeg. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Canada has violated the rights of its Indigenous peoples ever since the country was born, from forcing thousands of children into residential schools to disrespecting treaties and stealing land. In 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and Canada announced its support for the declaration in 2010.
When ten floral hanging baskets were stolen from the Communitas Supportive Care Society office, the organization responded by creating flowers using materials that were recycled or repurposed. Through creativity, the negative experience was turned into a positive celebration. (Photo courtesy of Communitas Care Society)
In the early summer the staff at Communitas Supportive Care Society arrived at work to discover that someone had stolen the floral hanging baskets from the front of their office building. All ten of them. The discovery was met with anger, outrage, frustration, and disbelief: We should totally do a social media post about this! Who would do such a thing?
Every summer Melita Penner and her daughter, Denelda Fast, spend a week cooking for summer camp at Shekinah Retreat Centre, north of Waldheim, Sask. They’ve been doing it for 15 years.
The publication, named so brilliantly for a tough, adaptable plant that ... could grow almost anywhere Mennonites could and was an important part of Mennonite diets in hard times, and was characterized as “hardy but a bit sour”—the “perfect symbol of Mennonite culture” did not survive the winter of 2017-18. (Photo by Will Braun)
On the edges of Canadian Mennonitism lies a disproportionately rich literary tradition. Or perhaps it lies just beyond the edges of our community. In either case, despite the exceptional accomplishments of Mennonite writers, a magazine that has showcased their work died rather peacefully last fall.
At a time when many churches and their choirs are dwindling, music teacher Kim Friesen Wiens created something amazing in Edmonton with the potential to help reverse both trends.
Kaitlyn Janzen (centre) leads the chorus in “O Bless The Lord.” The disciples and chorus used their own names for their characters in RJC’s production. (Photo by Rosthern Junior College)
Every year, as part of homecoming and graduation weekend at Rosthern Junior College, the students present a large-scale musical. This year they performed Godspell by John-Michael Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz.
I snapped one quick pic before they pulled me into the dance! Some of the men are drumming and singing, ladies are dancing in a line on the right, kids are here, there and everywhere! (Photo by Sara Wyngaarden)
When your feet are dirty, having them washed by others is a humbling experience. (Photo by Sara Wyngaarden)
For the past year, Sara Wyngaarden of Elmira, Ont., has been in India, participating in the Serving and Learning Together program (SALT) of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). This reflection originally appeared on her blog.